How’s it going?

October Unprocessed Check-in
I like carrots.

October is flying by – I can hardly believe we’re already halfway through the month!

Incredibly, more than 19,600 people have joined in for October Unprocessed so far! If you found out about the challenge after October 1st, it’s not too late. (It’s never too late!) Please sign the pledge, and join us for the rest of the month (or for 30 days starting today).

I’d like to give a huge thanks to all the guest authors so far, and to the ones still to come. Please be sure to visit their websites, show your appreciation in the comments, and friend them on Facebook and Twitter. If you’ve missed any of the guest posts, I’ve set up an index page of all them so far, and it will automatically update as new posts are published.

Okay, so now it’s time for a check-in. How has your experience been so far?  Easy?  Hard?  What’s the most exciting thing you’ve learned or discovered?

In the spirit of supporting each other, I’m hoping you will share one “actionable” morsel that you’ve learned so far this month. Leave a comment on this post and share some of your new-found unprocessed wisdom with everyone. Or maybe it’s simply a link to a recipe that you want to share. Or something else that folks may find useful or helpful. (Or, if you’re just downright frustrated, let us know that, too — and maybe we can help.)

Okay, ready?  Go!

A photo of Andrew Wilder leaning into the frame and smiling, hovering over mixing bowls in the kitchen.

Welcome to Eating Rules!

Hi! My name is Andrew Wilder, and I think healthy eating doesn’t have to suck. With just three simple eating rules, we'll kickstart your journey into the delicious and vibrant world of unprocessed food.

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October 15, 2014 6:09 pm

I’ve been attempting this for 3 years now. First year I think I did one day. Last year I did a little better.
This year I have tried to do it every day and if I plan ahead, I succeed but it’s tough. Really tough. Today is a great example. No processed all day. Came home from a VERY long day at work and heated up leftovers for dinner. But I was still hungry after that. So I broke down and had a bowl of cereal.
You just have to have time to shop and to cook. And a place to store it.

October 15, 2014 4:47 pm

I am really surprised I have done very well. I have a very big sweet tooth, so twice I cheated and had a homemade cookie,( just 1) and a donut ,(just 1), but each time it satisfied my urge and I didn’t need more, otherwise all unprocessed with a few questionables.

October 15, 2014 4:05 pm

Once I got past the guilt of service boxed mac n cheese with hot dogs and canned green beans… it has been going well. The canned green beans were alright, but I’m still sad about the dogs and mac!

sharon smedley
October 15, 2014 1:15 pm

we have been off processed food about 3yrs. but it felt good to get back real strict. we are more healthy than weve been in years I see more and I hope , I read that other stores are getting better with food. are you seeing that?

October 15, 2014 1:01 pm

I have been surprised by how many things I thought were OK are processed.
Eating out seems almost impossible, I rarely eat out so this is not a huge deal.
I have been struggling a bit the past few days. A bit wanting to stress eat and missing my go to items like pretzels and some sweet treats.
This challenge has been eye opening, and I thought I ate relatively unprocessed before I started this!

October 15, 2014 11:52 am

I’m also relatively conscientious about avoiding processed foods year-round, but there are a few convenience staples that I’d hoped this October unprocessed would help me examine and find alternatives for. Breakfast bars were a critical one. As I shopped for the ingredients for a homemade, whole food version, and thought about the time I’d then be spending cooking and cleaning up, my inner skeptic asked if the health benefits of the homemade version REALLY outweighed the time and effort. So I scrutinized the ingredients of the “nothing artificial” bars I’d been getting. Turns out the “real food” bars contain sugar, soybean oil, and sunflower oil where mine have honey (in a much smaller amount that the sugar in the bars), flaxseed, and almond meal. The homemade ones are packed w/ Omega 3s, vs the Omega 6s from the soy and sunflower oil in the store-bought ones, plus less sugar. Considering… Read more »

October 15, 2014 11:30 am

This is my first (of many!) October Unprocessed challenges. I have been surprised by how easy it is! There are a few things I’ve craved that definitely wouldn’t pass the kitchen test, but I’m able to fill the craving with something much better! I’ve found I love all the extra time in the kitchen, and my tupperware is getting a workout! I find I spend less money at the grocery store as a happy side-effect. Planning is key (and not that hard!) I feel good and not deprived at all! I’ve really gotten a lot from the guest posts, and the Facebook page has been super supportive and helpful day-to-day! I will try to continue this way of life after October (with a few more cheats I’m sure), but will definitely be back next October! I have learned a ton, and look at my food in a whole new light!

Diane Rocha
October 15, 2014 11:15 am

I am loving this! I feel so much better, and I have lost 8 pounds! I love to cook, and I have been eating close to this way for a while now, but cutting out all the “bad stuff” has inspired me to eat even better. I am eating more salads; I snack on the amazing honeycrisp apples that are in season right now; and I am only eating whole grains. I am a bread baker, so this has been somewhat of a challenge, but my whole wheat croutons that I am making from my homemade bread have revolutionized my salads.

October 15, 2014 11:05 am

I’ve learned, to my astonishment, that I have carried over a lot from the two previous October Unprocessed months that I participated in and have made those habits stick. Homemade is always better, isn’t it? When you consider that question, staying unprocessed is relatively easy. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so the sugar issue isn’t that big for me. Processed cereal used to be my biggest challenge, but I keep making granola (a combination of the two recipes on this site) and that, along with fruit smoothies keeps breakfast unprocessed as well.

So far, I really like the content from the guest authors. Everything has been very useful and inspirational.

Bon OU Appetit

October 15, 2014 11:01 am

I bought a new deep freezer to store all the homemade muffins/waffles/etc that I want to keep on hand. I’ve sent my 13 years old daughter to school with an unprocessed lunch almost every day and our family watched The documentary Fed Up together which was very eye opening for my teenager. When I am home I do great. When I am out at someone’s house I eat whatever is served because I can’t bring myself to be “that” person that has to bring up my new way of life…..unless I am asked about it. So I have failed some this month but that is my reality and I’m ok with it :-). I do feel a lot better physically when I eat unprocessed food!